For the second year in a row, holiday-makers and commuters travelling through George Best Belfast City Airport have supported World Duty Free’s festive ‘Buy a Bear’ initiative for the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity.

The plush, cuddly teddy bears have been sold at World Duty Free in the airport for the last number of weeks with visitors to the store purchasing over 600 bears, which have now been donated to children of the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Children’s Cancer Unit.

Donations of the bears far exceeded expectations, meaning all 470 children in the hospital will receive a Red Kay or a Green Lancelot bear, complete with a Christmas jumper. The generosity of passengers means there were plenty of teddies to spare, which have now been donated to other local charities to spread some Christmas cheer.

Ciara Hamill from World Duty Free at Belfast City Airport and Joanne Deighan, Commercial Manager at Belfast City Airport, delivered the bears to the Children’s Cancer Unit last week.

Ciara said:

“After the wonderful response we received from passengers last year, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to promote the bears to the Children’s Cancer Unit again in 2017. We wanted to do something nice for the kids, and though it is only a small gesture, we hope the bears will bring some festive cheer.”

Joanne said:

“Our passengers, once again, showed their incredible kindness and we have been able to not only give a little bear to all children in the Royal Victoria Hospital, but we were also able to give them to more local charities. Thank you to all of our passengers who have taken part in this year’s charity gift.”

Jacqueline Wilkinson, from the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity and Naomi Spence, Play Specialist Nurse, accompanied Ciara and Joanne at the hospital.

Jacqueline said:

“The generosity of the public never fails to amaze me, and this year the kindness from World Duty Free customers in Belfast City Airport has been wonderful. With over 450 bears gifted, we ensured that all the children receiving treatment, at the Cancer Unit or at home, and children throughout the hospital received a special little present.

“Donations to the Children’s Cancer Unit come in a variety of forms and we are very grateful that World Duty Free could organise this initiative for a second year. For a small donation, passengers from Belfast City Airport have helped bring a smile to children living with cancer this Christmas.”

The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity supports the work of the Children’s Cancer and Haematology Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and their families, in providing care for children with cancer and blood disorders. The Unit is the only place in Northern Ireland where children with cancer can be treated.